Creativity-Boosting Apps For Kids
Published: April 28, 2020
By: Tanni Haas, Ph.D.
With schools closed across the country, parents are looking for ways to keep their kids meaningfully engaged during the long days at home. How about inspiring your kids’ creativity in ways that are both educational and fun?
Encourage them to download an app – or three. Here are some of the best creativity-boosting apps, and they’re free.
Let’s Create: Pottery
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 9 and older)
Let’s Create: Pottery lets users sculpt pottery and make beautiful pieces of artwork without the messiness of real clay. They can choose to copy pre-existing pieces from different cultures around the world or create their own pottery from scratch. While the virtual clay is spinning on the pottery wheel, users mold the clay by tapping or pressing lightly on the screen. Once they are done, they can digitally fire their pottery and then decorate their creations with colors and patterns. If you have a 3D printer, you can make real physical pieces.
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 5-8)
Plum’s Creaturizer is a great app for getting young kids interested in photography. Developed by PBS Kids, this award-winning app lets kids create their own colorful creatures by combining different body parts (hence the name), and then encourages them to photograph these creatures in four different “habitats.” The photos can be combined into slideshows depicting a day in the life of their creatures.
Story Dice – Story Telling
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 5-18)
An app that is sure to get the creative juices flowing in kids of all ages is Story Dice – Story Telling. This app features 40 virtual dice, each with six different images in different categories, for a total of 240 different images. Kids shake their devices to roll the dice and create stories that connect all the images that emerge. Encourage your kids to use this app together with their friends to see who comes up with the most suspenseful or fun stories and, for added learning, encourage them to write down their stories.
(Available at: Apple App Store; Age range: 5-12)
TeleStory is an app that lets your kids pretend that they are television producers, directors and writers who star in their own shows. They get to plan their shows, write the scripts, rehearse, record and perform in them, and then edit the completed shows. It features model shows and general templates for different kinds of shows they can use if they need inspiration. It also has theme music, sound effects, animation and digital costumes that kids can wear.
(Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play; Age range: 5-12)
Few things are more fun than making your own cartoons. Toontastic 3D is an app that lets even young kids do just that. It includes various story outlines, scenes and dozens of colorful characters. Kids can either use those characters or create their own with simple drawing tools, then press “record” and move characters around and narrate the story with their own voice recording. They can add a musical score, and put all the pieces together in a single 3D cartoon. The app also has cartoons created by other kids and useful storytelling tips.